Date: Sun, 15 Jul 2007 10:30:09 -0500
From: "Daniel, John" <>
Subject: [TPIN] The buzzing book

I wasn't very clear in my initial post about this, sorry.

I have the book and I've been practicing out of it for a couple of weeks. I've known about the book and one that came before it for several years, but I don't think I ever invested more than a practice session or two on it until now.  I did a couple of recital tours last year, including a stop at Eastman and I was able to watch Jim Thompson teach a couple of lessons.  It was clear to me that he's done a lot of thinking for himself about the Stamp method and this book represents a distilled approach.  It is certainly more direct and to the point.  (I don't mean to be speaking for Mr. Thompson, this is just my impression.)

And I love the Stamp method, so I'm not knocking it.  But I've been in the process of writing my own book on trumpet playing for several years, and I know my approach is strongly influenced by years of practicing Stamp.  I know a few of my colleagues have enjoyed using this method, so I thought I better look into it before I write a book that leaves something essential out.

A few quick observations:

1.  Buzzing/playing/buzzing/playing etc. has always beenbetter for most of us than just buzzing for several minutes.  This book is set up to alternate in even portions, and it works great.

2.  Playing with a CD is very useful for tuning and starting notes in tempo.  I have practiced the exercises away from the CD once or twice and I think that is useful too.

3.  I'm taking the instructions very seriously about playing all the notes on one mouthpiece placement.  I have thick lips, so this has never been easy for me.  As a kid, I didn't use much top lip when I played the high notes.  Then for many years I played without much bottom lip in the mouthpiece.  It's very difficult for me to keep the bottom lip in the cup and get the low notes to speak, especially during a warm up.  So this book, with some very simple exercises, is kicking my ***(*).

4.  I've learned that I can play the low notes with a lot more embouchure resistance. It just takes a lot more air and a lot more vibration than I'm used to in the low register.  But man, I do like the sound and dynamic range.  If I mimic this feeling in the middle and upper register I can put a ton of core in the sound and play extremely loudly, louder than I've ever even thought about playing before.

We all grew up with great materials, Clarke's, Arban's, Schlossberg, etc. that came with very minimal playing instructions.  It was up to us and our teachers to figure out what the exercises were doing.  It's interesting how many books have come out recently that go much further in saying, "Try it this way, it might work for you!"  The buzzing book suggests some very specific notions about embouchure function.  But my guess is the exercises are going to help any player, even if they don't follow the embouchure suggestions consciously.

I'm hoping if and when my book comes out that it will appeal to players looking for specifics but will also work for players who are only looking for good exercises to practice.

Anyway, I'm very impressed with "THE BUZZING BOOK"